Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chocolate Gateau

Another good chocolate cake.

We are a bit worried about the health of our new daisies. Gale force winds blew just two days after we planted them; the wind was relentless. We planted blue balloon flowers, a cottage garden standard, among them and think we may buy more balloon flowers since they withstood the winds so well.

Following is a recipe for another very good chocolate cake. This cake is pretty, it is delicious, and it is easy to make. It is a great cake where looks count and time is short. I could easily prepare this cake the same day I was entertaining guests.

Chocolate Gateau
Serves 12

For the cake:
3 eggs
3/4 cup whole almonds, blanched
5 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
2/3 cups butter
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the icing and decoration:
5 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Separate the eggs and place the whites in a small mixer bowl; reserve the yolks in a separate bowl. Lightly grease a 9" x 2" cake pan and place wax paper on the bottom. Grind the whole almonds in a blender until fine; set aside.

Melt the 5 squares of semi-sweet chocolate over hot (not boiling) water. In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, then gradually beat in the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. When finished, mixture should be light and fluffy.

Beat the reserved egg yolks into the creamed butter until very light. Add the melted chocolate, and continue beating until well combined. At a lower speed, beat in the flour and 1/4 cup milk, alternating between the flour and milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in 1/2 cup of ground almonds and vanilla extract.

Beat the egg whites with the 1/2 teaspoon salt at a high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the mixture into the cake batter until just combined. Spread evenly in pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool in the cake pan on a rack for 10 minutes. With a spatula, loosen the edge of the cake from the pan and turn the cake onto the rack and continue to cool.

For the icing, melt the semisweet chocolate with the milk and butter in the top of a double boiler. Stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup ground almonds. Decorate edge with overlapping almond slices. Place on a cake plate.  

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